Long-haul discounter Norwegian will begin flying to Miami International and San Francisco International airports next March, in a move to improve yields by serving both first-tier airports.

The Oslo-based carrier will move its flights from London Gatwick to Miami and San Francisco from Fort Lauderdale and Oakland, respectively, from 31 March 2019, it says today. It will offer daily London-Miami service and four-times weekly London-San Francisco service with Boeing 787s.

“By moving to the largest airport in the region we will be able to focus on better yields, better cargo opportunities and widen our presence in search engines, attracting more business for us," says a Norwegian spokesman.

Norwegian offered three-times weekly service to Fort Lauderdale from London, and six-times weekly service to Oakland this past summer, FlightGlobal schedules data shows.

The low-cost carrier follows British Airways in dropping Oakland flights to concentrate on serving San Francisco from London, a move the Oneworld carrier made in October. United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways serve London Heathrow from San Francisco as well.

British Airways continues to serve the Fort Lauderdale-London market via Gatwick through at least June 2019, schedules show. American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic also fly between Miami and Heathrow.

Shifting London flights to Miami and San Francisco is just the beginning. Norwegian plans to move a second route from both Fort Lauderdale and Oakland to their respective larger peers in the future, it says.

"We are looking at the opportunity to move another route for a second phase, but will operate flights out of both airports in these areas," says the spokesman.

In addition to London, Norwegian serves Barcelona, Copenhagen, Guadalupe, Madrid, Martinique, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Oslo, Rome, Stockholm from Fort Lauderdale; and Barcelona, Copenhagen, Oslo, Paris, Rome and Stockholm from Oakland, schedules show.

The airline will also expand service to Boston next year. It will add new seasonal three-times weekly service to Madrid from 2 May 2019, and seasonal four-times weekly service to Rome from 31 March 2019, it says. Both routes will be flown with 344-seat 787-9 aircraft.

The new Boston routes will complement Norwegian's service to the New England city from Gatwick and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Alitalia flies between Boston and Rome, and Iberia between Boston and Madrid, schedules show.

Norwegian will also increase frequency between Los Angeles and both Madrid and Rome; between New York JFK and Madrid; and between Oakland and Rome in 2019.

Source: Cirium Dashboard